Note; All timestamps have been adjusted to order the page, dates in the posts are accurate.
(Taylor Typing) May 23, 2017
My wife Jessica and I are about two weeks away from pushing off for our big adventure motorcycle ride that we’ve been planning all year, and this will be our main way to record the trip. Our big goals are to see as many new places around the US as possible, as many friends and family as we can, and to meet new people along the way! We’ll be touring on our new-to-us 2012 BMW GS Adventure. Its a large two-person motorcycle that is able to go off road if needed. We bought it in February this year, and it has all the upgrades and premium equipment we could ever want!
We’re running two concurrent blogs, this one to catch more of the travel and adventure aspect, as well as a “Epic Rides, Ride Report” on Adventure Rider for the more technical side of the trip planning, and to get insight from more experienced riders.
We’re planning for a 4-6 week trip. We have a lot of flexibility this summer, as Jess is a Teacher, and I just returned from a deployment (Army National Guard) and have some time off. We don’t have any kids yet, and this seems like the ideal time to set off for an adventure!
During our planning, we have acquired paper maps for almost every state we’re driving through (we’ll have to wing it with a couple). Using those we have lined out a rough path, which we expect to deviate from at our whim. The plan is to stick to scenic routes and avoid busy interstates as much as possible. We have loads of camping food which we are in the process of splitting up to mail ahead in sections at different points, so we can always have some snacks and quick meals available. We are bringing our camping gear and – while it may be rough at first – the plan is to camp as much as we can along the way to keep the budget low and the adventure real!
(Taylor Typing) May 30, 2017
We’ve nailed down (read: rough drafted) our itinerary for our motorcycle trip around the US! We hope to finish the trip in 6 weeks, and when we worked through the plan it landed at 42 days exactly – hopefully we’re not too far off! We’ve worked blank days in on purpose to allow for anticipated delays and long travel sections. We also know there will be places we decide we want to spend more time at, and we don’t want to be rushed by a timeline – this is about adventure, not scheduling!
(Jess Typing) June 1, 2017
About 3 days until we leave on our trip of a lifetime! I guess I should start packing🤔
But for real, I’ve never packed for a 6 week trip, much less one traveled by motorcycle. I keep saying this packing job will be more strategic than anything else. I will have to put aside my semi-girly packing habits of, “well I’ll bring this many outfits, so I can decide based on my mood that day.” 😜 Nope, we will be rotating a select few items of clothing, and pretty much doing a load of laundry at each house we stop at, or perhaps laundry mat when need be. Oh, and like 2 pairs of shoes apart from my motorcycle boots. #roughingit
I know many people are excited for us, and many might think we’re crazy. Some might even think Taylor is dragging me into this! But I am genuinely excited about the adventure ahead. While we have our maps and route mostly planned out, there is so much that is unknown, and that part puts a sense of nervous-giddiness in me.
My main goal for this trip is to be ALL there, wherever we are. While we will certainly take pics, and update the blog, I want to view the sights out from behind my phone camera, and soak in every bit of God’s creation and time spent with my awesome husband. ☺️
Let’s do this thing!
(Taylor Typing) June 5, 2017
We’re currently sitting in a gulf-side diner grabbing a quick lunch before riding the Ferry over Mobile Bay. So far so good!
We started out on the highway headed towards Walton Beach FL, and that lasted about an hour before we bailed for back roads through rural Alabama. We had some doubts about the rain gear we’d bought, and God was gracious enough to help us test it the first day! (and second day…) The gear kept us totally dry, and the bike is doing great! We’ve been taking a break every hour or so, and enjoying the sights and smells along the way. We made it to Walton Beach and spent the evening with some of our best friends, who treated us to dinner and breakfast, and gave some expert map review. They were so awesome to host us in their brand new house, and we left right as the movers showed up with their household goods!
We’ve also committed to using the GPS as little as possible. How many times have you asked someone which way they came – I dunno, I just followed the GPS. So to enhance the experience we’re following maps, and figuring it out as we go. Only one hang-up so far, because apparently they skipped the sign that should have read “highway ends in 10 miles and there are no more outlets”.
When we left this morning we hit immediate pouring rain, but opted for coastal roads anyway, and were rewarded with beautiful views, slow roads through wildlife areas, and lots of crosswinds
Foods here, enjoy some pics and more to follow later!
(Jess typing) June 5, 2017
Short story: Almost every time Taylor has to turn the bike in a tight space, the horn on the handle hits the tank bag and hilariously, and loudly announces to everyone that “we’re turning!” And I diiiiie laughing for the next 2 minutes …that’s all 😂.
Back to our travel update…we had a fun time crossing on the ferry and met a nice couple that asked us all about our bike, and our plans. We failed to get their names, but they wished us safe travels and we were on our way. We’ve now crossed into a southern sliver of Mississippi, continuing on back country roads, through small towns and simple living.
We ended up stopping about 90 miles short of New Orleans, which was our goal, but apparently rain is the theme of these first few days, so we decided it was best for these weary and wet travelers to take a rest.
Praying for minimal rain tomorrow (though it is in the forecast) and to cross into Texas to see my grandparents!
First day of good weather, and we only had two hours to ride!
(Taylor Typing) June 7, 2017
We’re at apx 900 miles, and finally got some great weather! We spent the night at Jess’s Grandparents house after a hot rainy day, and had a great time visiting and hearing some hilarious stories. Who all has been run down by a buck they just shot? JM has! Also he recently thought the lady giving him a pedicure had painted his toenails pink when he dozed off, but I can’t do the story justice, you’ll have to ask him sometime. We had a hearty Texas breakfast and drove the two hours to her Dads place, with a quick stop by a river to cool off.
Also I added a bandana (with cold water) to my riding equipment list, and it is hands down my favorite item. Jess is sick of hearing about it, but I’ll convert her eventually.
Visiting more family tomorrow, then heading north, then west!
Day 6 of 42 on the road, and we finally tried out the camping gear!
(Taylor Typing) June 10, 2017
We’re breaking camp on day 6, and about to be out of Texas, which is crazy to me. It’s starting to feel like we may actually be doing this thing. We’ll spend this evening with more family, then for several days we’ll just be on the road and camping as we move west towards parts of the country neither of us have ever been to. I have this feeling that this is about to turn from a fun trip into a real adventure!
Last night was our first night camping, and it went well! We stayed at a KOA campground, surrounded by RVs. Turns out even among outdoor/adventure travelers we’re a little crazy. The site has a pool which was great after a long ride day, plus nice showers etc. After dinner we watched a movie on the laptop and crashed!
Now we’ve got to pack the bike up and head north on scenic highway 71 to Rogers AR!